If you’ve got teenagers at home, it might be time to sit them down for a little chat about privacy now that Facebook’s new settings will allow them to share their updates with everyone.
The latest change to Facebook’s privacy settings is a tweak which will allow users aged 13 to 17 to make their posts viewable to all by changing the setting to “Public”. Whilst users over the age of 18 have always been allowed to make their statuses, likes, and photos of food viewable to everyone, teenagers were previously restricted to sharing with “Friends of Friends” or just “Friends”.
Facebook’s press release on the subject confirmed that the reason for this change was to keep Facebook competitive and on trend in the world of social media, a world where teenagers form a huge demographic. In the quickly-growing world of social media, Facebook wants teenagers to be able to share their opinions with everyone, though this might come at the risk of their privacy.
On the positive side, young Facebook users will have their privacy settings listed as “Friends” by default when they sign up to Facebook, and those who opt to share under the “Public” setting will receive an extra warning dialogue box to discourage mistaken posts. Unfortunately these measures will likely be meaningless many teenagers, particularly considering recent survey results showing that around 80 percent of teens lie about their age on social media.